– by David Matthews 2
It must be good to be Michael Steele.
The chairman of the GOP is either extremely delusional, or else he knows something about the nature of the party that allows him to stay where he is.
A year ago, Steele was seen as being nothing more than a token leader of the party. He was elected within the party not necessarily because of his leadership skills but more as a public counter to the newly-elected President Barack Obama. After all, it’s a little hard to say the GOP is the party of old white rich men when you have an African-American in charge, right? It’s a masterful PR move, if you think about it.
But any kind of credibility as a leader got pretty much shut down early into his tenure, when he DARED to insult the “mighty” Rush Limbaugh for being “an entertainer”. Limbaugh’s dittoheads screamed bloody murder and forced Steele to bow down to the mighty media blowhard.
And that was only the beginning of the confrontational statements and positions Steele made in the year since. Rumors spin of the GOP power-players neutralizing Steele’s authority, limiting his funds, doing everything possible to control him and reduce him to being a token figure, someone who is only there to generate money and dilute the liberal accusations of systematic racism.
In other words, to prove the critics right about Steele’s position.
That probably explains Steele’s confidence in the wake of yet ANOTHER bombastic statement of his. This time around, Steele was caught telling GOP supporters that the War in Afghanistan, which started back in 2001 under President George W. Bush, was “a war of Obama’s choosing” and not something that the US had “actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in”.
In other words, Michael Steele LIED.
Go ahead and let that sink in. HE LIED.
Either he had his head in the sand or up an orifice that would otherwise be covered under “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and had absolutely no idea of world events following September of 2001, or else he wanted to inflame supporters through an intentional Orwellian-level LIE.
And yet he’s out there right now, confident that he’s not going to lose his cushy position despite calls for his ouster by senators and influential conservatives. Worse yet, his LIE has been defended by the flakes of politics, namely Ann Coulter and Rep. Ron Paul. In fact this commentator’s fleeting respect for Paul has pretty much evaporated since the Texas politician came rushing to Steele’s aid on CNN.
I know that the GOP has a hard time dealing with things like FACTS and REALITY, but the FACT is that the War in Afghanistan WAS NOT a “war of choice”. That was where Al Qaeda was located in 2001, protected by their friends in the ruling Taliban. That was the justification for us going there and keeping troops there. The GOP CHOSE to abandon Afghanistan to go pick on Saddam Hussein. They CHOSE it! Michael Steele’s party CHOSE to engage Iraq while leaving Afghanistan unfinished. That is FACT. That is REALITY.
And you have absolutely NO CREDIBILITY WHATSOEVER if you cannot accept and acknowledge that! PERIOD! This is not about politics. This is now about CREDIBILITY. It is about INTEGRITY. It is about CHARACTER. You know; the very things that the conservatives all CLAIM to champion.
Yet somehow you have Steele making such asinine statements, knowing full well that anything he says cannot and will not be used against him in his own party. Senators and media personalities can call for his ouster, and he’ll still be there.
Even more surreal is the ramblings of Limbaugh himself, the man who pawned Steele last year, carrying on in a mocking tone as though HE has the final say on Steele’s tenure in charge of the GOP. In his own buffoonish way, Limbaugh essentially validated Steele’s earlier assessment of him.
It’s crazy. And yet it all makes sense when you accept one simple premise… that Steele’s position as leader of the GOP is nothing more than a sham. And this commentator suspects that Steele has finally recognized that as well, which is why he’s presuming that he’ll still be there after all of this blows over. He’s pretending to be bulletproof because he firmly believes that the GOP NEEDS him there.
Let’s get brutally honest here… it is truly a sad state of affairs for any political party to see their chief spokesperson, their leader, carrying on as though they are nothing more than a prop. A figurehead, at least, has an IMAGE to uphold. Apparently Steele doesn’t even care about that.
Maybe the various media personalities that infest talk radio and cable news can be expected to be nothing more than populist slime-mongering aggravators. Maybe that is all that can and should be expected of them given the history of that career going back to the days of habitual backstabber James Callender.
But true leadership, especially when it involves government, needs more than just populism, scandal, and hysteria. It needs character. It needs integrity. To claim that one’s outrageous statements should be tolerated because that person is supposedly not “setting policy” - which is precisely how Congressman Paul described Steele’s statement on CNN - is ludicrous. Steele needs to set the example for the GOP, and so far he is failing. And the more his party members bend over backwards to defend him, the less credibility they have.
This is one of the many consequences of having a political system dominated by two parties. America has a history of going through several political parties in its two centuries of existence, but these last two could very well spell the END of this nation. As long as people are force-fed the fairy tale that there are only two parties out there to choose from, we will continue to see character and integrity sacrificed on the altar of politics and the cultish demand of maintaining the status quo at all costs.